Elon Musk’s SpaceX readies first Falcon Heavy launch for paying customer


In addition to Wednesday's launch, SpaceX will attempt to land Falcon Heavy's side boosters at Landing Zones 1 and 2 while Falcon Heavy's center core will attempt to land on "Of Course I Still Love You" droneship during the Arabsat-6A mission.

Spectators eager to watch SpaceX's three-core Falcon Heavy rocket launch from Kennedy Space Center will have to wait at least one more day, according to the latest Eastern Range launch schedules.

"Arabsat-6A is a high-capacity telecommunications satellite that will deliver television, radio, Internet and mobile communications to customers in the Middle East, Africa, and Europe", SpaceX representatives wrote in a mission description. The launch window will remain open until 8:35 p.m. That launch was the biggest rocket since the Saturn era ended in the 1970s.

The payload is the Arabsat 6A communications satellite built by U.S. contractor Lockheed Martin for the Saudi company Arabsat.

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Follow SpaceX's social accounts, including YouTube and Twitter, for more updates on the Falcon Heavy Launch. Last year's initial Falcon Heavy launch became spectacle thanks in part to its test payload consisting of Musk's cherry-red Tesla Roadster with a mannequin passenger, dubbed Starman, sitting in the driver's seat. Planetary scientists have also said the rocket's mere existence has put price pressure on other boosters typically used for deep space probes.

But in the 14 months since the large rocket's inaugural flight, Falcon Heavy has had a remarkable effect on the nation's space policy. Despite the satellite weighing no less than 6000 kg (13,200 lb), Falcon Heavy will still have enough latent performance to attempt the recovery of all three of its new Block 5 boosters.

It's a repeat effort from a February 2018 test mission of the Falcon Heavy that saw two boosters land almost simultaneously. That will be the first Falcon Heavy flight to re-use boosters. Also, the company released the first official image of the SpaceX Falcon Heavy Block 5 spacecraft - a 4K pic that reveals all the 27 Falcon Heavy's Merlin 1D engines which can produce 2550 metric tons (25,000 kN or 5.6 million pounds) of thrust. With three first-stage boosters akin to SpaceX's Falcon 9 rockets, the Falcon Heavy boosters, too, are created to fly back to Earth and be reusable. Scores of fans and tourists have flocked to the Florida Space Coast for the event, which will be broadcast live on the SpaceX website.